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Senate Calendar

wednesday, march 26, 2008

79th DAY OF BIENNIAL SESSION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                                Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

CALLED UP

S. 344     Internet and mail order sales of tobacco products.............................. 995

               Pending Action:  Second Reading of the bill

                        Ec. Dev., Housing & General Affairs Committee Report........... 995

                        Sen. Carris substitute amendment............................................. 997

                        Sen. Mullin amendment............................................................ 998

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 2008

Second Reading

Favorable

S. 201     Relating to state employee whistleblower protection........................... 998

                        Government Operations Committee Report.............................. 998

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2008

Committee Bills for Second Reading

S. 369     Recognition of tribes & bands of native Americans by the Vermont .........                   commission on native American affairs      999

                        By the Committee on Ec. Dev., Housing & Gen. Affairs........... 999

S. 372     Evictions, unpaid rent, and abandoned property in rental prop............ 999

                        By the Committee on Ec. Dev., Housing & Gen. Affairs........... 999

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2008

Third Reading

S. 304     Relating to a groundwater withdrawal permit program........................ 999

S. 324     Relating to beer tasting...................................................................... 999

Second Reading

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 297     Clarifying definition of “stiff hitch” in motor vehicle statutes................. 999

                        Transportation Committee Report............................................ 999

                        Finance Committee Report.................................................... 1000


S. 348     Education/workforce training for children between ages 16 &18...... 1000

                        Education Committee Report................................................. 1000

                        Appropriations Committee Report......................................... 1004

NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

S. 229     Access to public records................................................................. 1006

S. 275     Relating to motor vehicles passing bicyclists on highways................. 1006

S. 311     Current use enrollment for conservation lands.................................. 1006

                        Sen. Illuzzi amendment........................................................... 1006

S. 345     Lowering the cost of workers’ compensation insurance.................... 1007

                        Sen. Racine amendment......................................................... 1007

                        Sen. Mullin amendment.......................................................... 1008

H. 557    Postponing sunset of fish & wildlife bd. authority reg. deer herd....... 1008

H. 788    Awarding moose permits to VT veterans of Afghanistan & Iraq....... 1008

Joint Resolution for Action

JRH 56  Designating May 18-24 as public works week in Vermont............... 1008

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 403    Postretirement cost of living adjustments for state employees............ 1008

                        Government Operations Committee Report............................ 1008

ORDERED TO LIE

S. 70       Empowering municipalities to regulate pesticides.............................. 1014


S. 102     School dist. excess spending........................................................... 1015

S. 118     Fiscal review of high spending school districts.................................. 1015

S. 211     Soliciting or architect proposals by a school district.......................... 1015

JRS 24   Congressional “fast track” review of trade agreements..................... 1015

 



 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

CALLED UP

S. 344

An act relating to internet and mail order sales of tobacco products.

PENDING QUESTION:  Shall the rules be suspended and the bill be committed to the Committee on Judiciary with the report of the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs intact?.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Carris for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  7 V.S.A. § 1010 is added to read: 

§ 1010.  internet sales

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Cigarette” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A

§ 7702(1).

(2)  “Distributor” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A.

§ 7702(4).

(3)  “Licensed wholesale dealer” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A § 7702(5).

(4)  “Little cigars” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A

§ 7702(6).

(5)  “Retail dealer” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A

§ 7702(10).

(6)  “Roll-your-own tobacco” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A § 7702(11).

(7)  “Snuff” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A

§ 7702(13).

(b)  This section applies to any person who imports or distributes for sale or sells to any person in the state cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, little cigars, and snuff.

(c)  A licensed wholesale dealer, distributor, or retail dealer may only:

(1)  Sell or ship cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, little cigars, or snuff, ordered or purchased by mail or through a computer network, telephonic network, or other electronic network, to another licensed wholesale dealer, distributor or retail dealer directly. 

(d)  A licensed wholesale dealer, distributer, or retail dealer may not:

(1)  Cause cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, little cigars, or snuff, ordered or purchased by mail or through a computer network, telephonic network, or other electronic network, to be shipped to anyone other than a licensed wholesale dealer, distributor, or retail dealer in this state.

(e)  A knowing or intentional violation of this section shall be a punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.

(1)  In addition to or in lieu of any other civil or criminal remedy provided by law, upon a determination that a person has violated this section, the attorney general may impose a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $5,000.00 for each violation.  For purposes of this subsection, each shipment or transport of cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, little cigars, or snuff shall constitute a separate violation.

(2)  The attorney general may seek an injunction to restrain a threatened or actual violation of this section.

(3)  In any action brought pursuant to this section, the state shall be entitled to recover the costs of investigation, expert witness fees, costs of the action, and reasonable attorneys fees.

(4)  A person who violates this section engages in an unfair and deceptive trade practice in violation of the state’s Consumer Fraud Act, 9 V.S.A. §§ 2451 et seq.

(5)  If a court determines that a person has violated the provisions of this section, the court shall order any profits, gain, gross receipts, or other benefit from the violation to be disgorged and paid to the state treasurer for deposit in the general fund.

(6)  Unless otherwise expressly provided, the penalties or remedies, or both, under this section are in addition to any other penalties and remedies  available under any other law of this state.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT TO S. 344 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR CARRIS, ON BEHALF OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, HOUSING AND GENERAL AFFAIRS,

Senator Carris, on behalf of the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs, moves to amend the bill by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  7 V.S.A. § 1010 is added to read:

§ 1010.  internet sales

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Cigarette” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A

§ 7702(1).

(2)  “Distributor” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A.

§ 7702(4).

(3)  “Licensed wholesale dealer” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A § 7702(5).

(4)  “Little cigars” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A

§ 7702(6).

(5)  “Retail dealer” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A

§ 7702(10).

(6)  “Roll-your-own tobacco” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A § 7702(11).

(7)  “Snuff” has the same definition as that found at 32 V.S.A

§ 7702(13).

(b)  No person shall cause cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, little cigars, or snuff, ordered or purchased by mail or through a computer network, telephonic network, or other electronic network, to be shipped to anyone other than a licensed wholesale dealer, distributor, or retail dealer in this state.

(c)  No person shall, with knowledge or reason to know of the violation, provide substantial assistance to a person in violation of this section.

(d)  A violation of this section is punishable as follows:

(1)  A knowing or intentional violation of this section shall be punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.

(2)  In addition to or in lieu of any other civil or criminal remedy provided by law, upon a determination that a person has violated this section, the attorney general may impose a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $5,000.00 for each violation.  For purposes of this subsection, each shipment or transport of cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, little cigars, or snuff shall constitute a separate violation.

(3)  The attorney general may seek an injunction to restrain a threatened or actual violation of this section.

(4)  In any action brought pursuant to this section, the state shall be entitled to recover the costs of investigation, of expert witness fees, of the action, and reasonable attorney’s fees.

(5)  A person who violates this section engages in an unfair and deceptive trade practice in violation of the state’s Consumer Fraud Act,

9 V.S.A. §§ 2451 et seq.

(6)  If a court determines that a person has violated the provisions of this section, the court shall order any profits, gain, gross receipts, or other benefit from the violation to be disgorged and paid to the state treasurer for deposit in the general fund.

(7)  Unless otherwise expressly provided, the penalties or remedies, or both, under this section are in addition to any other penalties and remedies available under any other law of this state.

AMENDMENT TO S. 344 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR MULLIN

Senator Mullin moves to amend the bill in Sec. 1, 7 V.S.A. § 1010(d)(1) by striking out “one year” and inserting in lieu thereof five years

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 2008

Second Reading

Favorable

S. 201

An act relating to state employee whistleblower protection.

Reported favorably by Senator White for the Committee on Government Operations.

(Committee vote: 3-1-2)

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2008

Committee Bills for Second Reading

S. 369

An act relating to recognition of tribes and bands of native Americans by the Vermont commission on native American affairs.

By the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

S. 372

An act relating to evictions, unpaid rent, and abandoned property in rental property.

By the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2008

Third Reading

S. 304

An act relating to a groundwater withdrawal permit program.

S. 324

An act relating to beer tasting.

Second Reading

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 297

An act relating to clarifying the definition of “stiff hitch” in the motor vehicle statutes.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Scott for the Committee on Transportation.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended by adding two new sections to be numbered Secs. 2 and 3 to read as follows:

Sec. 2.  23 V.S.A. § 4(78) is added to read:

(78)  An “all-surface vehicle” or “ASV” means any non-highway recreational vehicle, except a snowmobile, when used for cross-country travel on trails or on any one of the following or combination of the following:  land, water, snow, ice, marsh, swampland, and natural terrain.  An all-surface vehicle shall be designed for use both on land and in water, with or without tracks, shall be capable of flotation and shall be equipped with a skid-steering system, a sealed body, a fully contained cooling system, and six or eight tires designed to be inflated with an operating pressure not exceeding 10 pounds per square inch as recommended by the manufacturer.  An all-surface vehicle shall have a net weight of 1,500 pounds or less, shall have a width of 75 inches or less, shall be equipped with an engine of not more than 50 horsepower, and shall have a maximum speed of not more than 25 miles per hour.  An ASV when operated in water shall be considered to be a motor boat and shall be subject to the provisions of subchapter 2 of chapter29 of this title.  An ASV operated anywhere except in water shall be treated as an all-terrain vehicle and be subject to the provisions of chapter 31 of this title. 

Sec. 3.  23 V.S.A. § 364b is added to read:

§ 364b.  ALL-SURFACE VEHICLES; REGISTRATION

The annual fee for registration of an all-surface vehicle (ASV) shall be the sum of the fees established by sections 3305 and 3504 of this title, plus $25.00.  Notwithstanding section 502 of Title 32, the commissioner may charge the actual cost of production of the plates against the fees collected, and the balance shall be deposited in the transportation fund.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

Reported favorably by Senator Ayer for the Committee on Finance.

(Committee vote: 6-0-1)

S. 348

An act relating to education or workforce training for children between the ages of 16 and 18 years of age.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Starr for the Committee on Education.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  16 V.S.A. § 1121a is added to read:

§ 1121a.  EARLY IDENTIFICATION OF STUDENTS WHO MAY NOT COMPLETE SECONDARY SCHOOL; SUPPORT FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL COMPLETION

Each superintendent shall ensure that every public school within his or her jurisdiction implements the following:

(1)  Education support teams shall attempt to identify each student whose academic progress, behavior, or other indicators suggest, at any age, that the student may not complete his or her secondary education.

(2)  Education support teams shall work with every student identified in subdivision (1) of this section and, to the extent possible, the student’s parents or guardians to develop and update annually a personal education plan (“PEP”).  The PEP shall identify those services necessary for the student’s successful completion of elementary and secondary school and shall outline the procedure for obtaining the services, which may include the following:

(A)  Research-based literacy instruction to support the student to attain grade-level reading proficiency, if such support is needed.  

(B)  The assignment of an adult mentor, who may be the student’s parent or guardian, a community volunteer, or some other individual, to provide academic, career, and emotional support to the student until completion of secondary school.

(C)  Applied or work-based learning opportunities for secondary school students, particularly those that foster appropriate social interactions with adults and other students.

(D)  The opportunity, when appropriate, to participate in dual enrollment courses, with tutorial support provided as needed.

(E)  The opportunity, when appropriate, to participate in outreach programs with the Vermont student assistance corporation, including academic support services, workshops, summer programs, and career counseling.

(F)  Any other service to encourage the successful completion of elementary and secondary school. 

(3)  When a school determines that a student’s early withdrawal from secondary school is imminent, the school shall provide information to that student about alternative paths to graduation, regardless of whether the student was previously identified or served under subdivision (1) or (2) of this section.  

Sec. 2.  16 V.S.A. § 1122 is amended to read:

§ 1122.  PUPILS OVER SIXTEEN CHILDREN WHO ARE 16 YEARS OLD AND OLDER; WAIVER

A person having the control of a child over sixteen years of age who allows such child to become enrolled in a public school, shall cause such child to attend such school continually for the full number of the school days of the term in which he is so enrolled, unless such child is mentally or physically unable to continue, or is excused in writing by the superintendent or a majority of the school directors.  In case of such enrollment, such person, and the teacher, child, superintendent, and school directors shall be under the laws and subject to the penalties relating to the attendance of children between the ages of seven and sixteen years. 

(a)  The legal guardian or guardians of a child who is at least 16 but less than 18 years old shall cause the child to be enrolled in and attend a public or approved independent secondary school for the number of days and hours required for satisfactory completion of the academic year, except under the following circumstances:

(1)  The commissioner determines that the child is mentally or physically unable to be enrolled.

(2)  The child is enrolled in and attending:

(A)  A postsecondary school, as defined in subdivision 176(b)(1) of this title, that is approved or accredited in Vermont or another state; or

(B)  A postsecondary technical education program as defined in subdivision 1522(12) of this title. 

(3)  The child has completed all credits and other requirements necessary for secondary graduation.

(4)  The child was in a home study program under section 166b of this title for at least one year at the secondary level when he or she was younger than 16 years old and will continue to be under his or her guardian’s educational supervision until age 18.

(5)  The child has been granted a waiver pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of this section.

(b)  A student who is at least 16 but less than 18 years old and who is not subject to the exceptions set out in subdivisions (a)(1) through (4) of this section may terminate his or her secondary education in a public or approved independent school upon receiving a waiver from an administrator or counselor designated by the school board of the district in which the student resides.  To obtain a waiver, the student shall meet with the designee and discuss alternative paths to graduation and other approved alternatives to secondary school, which may include the high school completion program created by section 1049a of this title, a home study program pursuant to section 166b of this title, the Northlands Job Corps Center, an education program approved by the department of education, or a workforce development program eligible to receive funding from the department of labor.  When the student has selected an alternative to enrollment in the secondary school, the designee shall issue written approval for the student to terminate his or her enrollment in the public or approved independent school and shall provide a copy to the student, the student’s legal guardian or guardians, the school board, and the program in which the student intends to participate. 

(c)  A student subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section who either chooses not to pursue an alternative pursuant to that subsection or terminates his or her participation in the alternative program prior to the age of 18 may request from the school board of the district in which the student resides a waiver of the requirements of subsections (a) and (b) of this section.  To obtain a waiver, the student, and the student’s legal guardian or guardians if possible, shall meet with school board and explain the reasons that he or she is requesting the waiver and his or her plans for education, workforce training, or employment until reaching the age of 18.  The board may suggest and discuss other alternatives with the student. 

(1)  If the board approves the student’s request for a waiver, the board shall issue written approval for the child to terminate his or her enrollment in the public or approved independent school pursuant to subsection (a) or to terminate attendance in an alternative program pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.  The board shall provide a copy of the waiver to the student, the student’s legal guardian or guardians, the school in which the student was or is enrolled, and any alternative program the student had been attending. 

(2)  If the board does not approve the student’s request for a waiver, the student shall be considered truant under the provisions of this chapter unless the student withdraws the request and complies with subsection (a) or (b) of this section.  The student may appeal the board’s decision to the commissioner, whose decision shall be final; provided, however, that a subsequent action may be filed in superior court.

(d)  The departments of labor and of education shall publish, and update at least annually, a list of all programs under their respective jurisdictions that meet the requirements of subsection (b) of this section.

(e)  During the period in which the child is enrolled in and attending a public or approved independent secondary school pursuant to subsection (a) of this section or an alternative program pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the child, the child’s legal guardian or guardians, and the superintendent and school directors of the district in which the child resides shall be subject to the laws and penalties relating to the attendance of children between the ages of seven and 18 years. 

(f)  The provisions of this section shall also apply to an emancipated minor.

Sec. 3.  HIGH SCHOOL COMPLETION PROGRAM; GRADUATION EDUCATION PLAN; GUIDELINES

The department of education shall amend the high school completion program’s guidelines to:

(1)  Require that the graduation education plan for each 16‑ and 17‑year‑old student include services relevant to the student’s goals that provide:

(A)  Career exploration.

(B)  Workforce training.

(C)  Workplace readiness training.

(D)  Preparation for postsecondary training or education and transitioning assistance. 

(2)  Recommend that the graduation education plan for each student who is older than 17 years of age include the elements listed in subdivision (1) of this section.

Sec. 4.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on July 1, 2008 and shall apply beginning in the 2008–2009 academic year.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Illuzzi for the Committee on Appropriations.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended as recommended by the Committee on Education, with the following amendments thereto:

First:  In Sec. 1, § 1121a(2), by striking out subdivision (F) in its entirety.

Second:  In Sec. 2, § 1122, subsection (a), at the beginning of the subsection by inserting the title Compulsory attendance; exceptions. and

in subsection (b), at the beginning of the subsection by inserting the title Waiver; designated administrator or counselor; alternative to enrollment. and

in subsection (c), at the beginning of the subsection by inserting the title Waiver; school board.

Third:  In Sec. 2, § 1122(c), subdivision (1), at the beginning of the subdivision by inserting the title Request for waiver; decision to approve.

Fourth:  In Sec. 2, § 1122(c), by striking out subdivision (2) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof four new subdivisions, to be numbered subdivisions (2) through (5), to read as follows:

(2)  Request for waiver; decision not to approve.  If the school board does not approve the student’s request for a waiver, then within 30 days after receiving the request it shall issue a written decision in which it explains the reasons it decided not to approve the request.  The board shall provide a copy of the decision to the student, the student’s legal guardian or guardians, the school in which the student was or is enrolled, and any alternative program the student had been attending.  After receiving the written decision, the student shall be considered truant under the provisions of this chapter unless the student complies with subsection (a) or (b) of this section. 

(3)  Appeal.  The student, by or through his or her legal guardian or guardians, may appeal the board’s decision to the commissioner within 15 days after receiving the board’s written decision.  The commissioner’s decision shall be final; provided, however, that the board’s and commissioner’s determinations may be the subject of a separate, subsequent action filed in superior court.  Pending resolution of the waiver issue, the student shall comply with the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section or shall be considered truant under the provisions of this chapter.

(4)  Truant officer.  When a child is considered truant pursuant to this section, the truant officer for the school district shall follow the truancy protocol approved by the district, or one approved by the supervisory union if the district has not approved a protocol.

(5)  Enforcement.  Upon notification by a superintendent or truant officer that the school district has exhausted all reasonable efforts to bring a child considered truant into compliance with this section, that no waiver has been granted under this section, and that the appropriate truancy protocol has been followed, then, notwithstanding the provisions of 33 V.S.A. § 5517(e), the secretary of human services or a state’s attorney may file a petition alleging the child is in need of care and supervision pursuant to the provision of 33 V.S.A. § 5502(a)(12).  If the court finds that the child is in need of care and supervision, then the court may order the child to comply with subsection (a) or (b) of this section.  The court shall provide the school district with a copy of the court’s order. 

Fifth:  In Sec. 2, § 1122, subsection (d), at the beginning of the subsection by inserting the title Available programs. and

in subsection (e), at the beginning of the subsection, by inserting the title Applicable laws.

Sixth:  In Sec. 2, § 1122(e), after the words “During the period in which the child is”, by inserting the words or should be

Seventh:  In Sec. 2, § 1122, subsection (f), at the beginning of the subsection, by inserting the title Emancipated minor.

Eighth:  In Sec. 2, § 1122(f), at the end of the subsection, by adding a new sentence to read:  An emancipated minor shall conform to the requirements of this section and, in his or her own name, may exercise the rights created in this section.

Ninth:  In Sec. 3, by striking out subdivision (1) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (1) to read as follows:

(1)  Require that the graduation education plan for each 16‑ and 17‑year‑old student include services relevant to the student’s goals, including career exploration and one or more of the following:

(A)  Workforce training.

(B)  Workplace readiness training.

(C)  Preparation for postsecondary training or education and transitioning assistance. 

(Committee vote: 6-0-1)

NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

S. 229

An act relating to access to public records.

S. 275

An act relating to motor vehicles passing bicyclists on highways.

S. 311

An act relating to current use enrollment for conservation lands and ecologically significant lands.

AMENDMENT TO S. 311 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR ILLUZZI, ON BEHALF OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, BEFORE THIRD READING

Senator Illuzzi, on behalf of the Committee on Appropriations, moves that the bill be amended as follows:

First:  By striking out Sec. 10 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 10 to read as follows:

Sec. 10.  ONE-TIME CURRENT USE PARCEL FEE

     The department of taxes shall assess a one-time fee of $25.00 on each parcel enrolled on April 1, 2009 in the use value appraisal program established under chapter 124 of Title 32.  The fee shall be due on or before May 1, 2009 and shall be deposited into the program special fund created pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 3756(e) for improvements to the program.  If the fee is not paid on each parcel enrolled on or before July 1, 2009, then each parcel on which the fee is not paid shall be withdrawn from the program effective for the 2009 tax year.

Second:  By adding a new section to the bill to be numbered Sec. 9a to read as follows:

Sec. 9a.  32 V.S.A. §3760 (a) is amended to read:

(a)(1)  Annually the state shall pay to each town municipality the amount necessary to limit its tax rate increase in the prior year due to the loss of municipal property tax revenue for that year based on use value of enrolled property as compared to municipal property tax revenue for that year based on fair market value of enrolled property, to zero.

     (2)  The director of property valuation and review shall determine the amount of the available funds under this section to be paid to each town municipality, and a town municipality may appeal the director's decision in the same manner and under the same procedures as an appeal from a decision of a board of civil authority, as set forth in subchapter 2 of chapter 131 of this title.

     (3)  On November 1 of each year, the director of property valuation and review shall pay to each municipality the amount calculated as described in this section. If the appropriation for the year is insufficient to pay the full amount due to every town municipality under this subsection, payments in that year shall be made to such towns proportionately.

     (4)  If the appropriation for the year is insufficient to pay the full amount due to any town for enrolled property owned by another municipality, the town in which the property is located may assess the other municipality and the other municipality shall pay the difference.

     (5)  The director's calculation of payment amounts to municipalities shall be based on grand list values and total tax appropriations as submitted to the director for the prior year.

S. 345

An act relating to lowering the cost of workers’ compensation insurance.

AMENDMENT TO S. 345 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR RACINE BEFORE THIRD READING

Senator Racine moves to amend the bill as follows:

First:  In Sec. 5, by striking out the following: “included” and inserting in lieu thereof the following: considered for inclusion

Second:  In Sec. 6, by striking out the following: “included” and inserting in lieu thereof the following: considered for inclusion

Third:  In Sec. 16, by striking out the following: “included” and inserting in lieu thereof the following: considered for inclusion

AMENDMENT TO S. 345 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR MULLIN

Senator Mullin moves to amend the bill by adding a new Sec. 17 to read as follows:

Sec. 17.  21 V.S.A. §660(a) is amended to read:

(a) A notice given under the provisions of this chapter shall not be held invalid or insufficient by reason of any inaccuracy in stating the time, place, nature, or cause of the injury, or otherwise, unless it is shown that the employer was in fact misled to the injury as a result of the inaccuracy. Want of or delay in giving notice, or in making a claim, shall not be a bar to proceedings under the provisions of this chapter, if it is shown that the employer, the employer's agent, or representative had knowledge of the accident or that the employer has not been prejudiced by the delay or want of notice. Proceedings to initiate a claim for a work-related injury pursuant to this chapter may not be commenced after three two years from the date of injury. This section shall not be construed to limit subsequent claims for benefits stemming from a timely filed work-related injury claim.

H. 557

An act relating to postponing the sunset of the fish and wildlife board’s authority to adopt rules regulating the deer herd.

H. 788

An act relating to awarding moose permits to Vermont veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Joint Resolution for Action

J.R.H. 56

Joint resolution honoring municipal public works employees and designating May 18-24 as public works week in Vermont.

(For text of Resolution, see Senate Journal for March 25, 2008, page 424)


NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 403

An act relating to postretirement cost of living adjustments for state employees.

Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator White for the Committee on Government Operations.

The Committee recommends that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  3 V.S.A. § 455(a)(13) is amended to read:

(13) "Normal retirement date" shall mean:

* * *

(D) with respect to a group F member, the first day of the calendar month next following attainment of age 62, and following completion of five years of creditable service for those members hired on or after July 1, 2004, or completion of 30 years of creditable service, whichever is earlier; and with respect to a group F member first included in the membership of the system on or after July 1, 2008, the first day of the calendar month next following attainment of age 65 and following completion of five years of creditable service, or attainment of 87 points reflecting a combination of the age of the member and number of years of service, whichever is earlier.

Sec. 2.  3 V.S.A. § 459(b)(5) is amended to read:

§ 459. NORMAL AND EARLY RETIREMENT

* * *

(b) Normal retirement allowance.

* * *

(5)(A) Until January 1, 1995, upon normal retirement, a group F member shall receive a normal retirement allowance which shall be equal to 1-1/4 percent of his average final compensation times years of creditable service. On and after January 1, 1995, upon normal retirement, a group F member shall receive a normal retirement allowance equal to 1-1/4 percent of the member's average final compensation times years of membership service prior to January 1, 1991 plus a pension which when added to an annuity shall be equal to 1-2/3 percent of the member's average final compensation times years of membership service on and after January 1, 1991. The maximum retirement allowance shall be 50 percent of average final compensation.

(B)  A group F member first included in the membership of the system on or after July 1, 2008, upon normal retirement, shall receive a normal retirement allowance equal to 1-2/3 percent of the member's average final compensation times years of membership service. The maximum retirement allowance shall be 60 percent of average final compensation.

* * *

(d) Early retirement allowance.

* * *

(2)(A) Upon early retirement, a group F member, except facility employees of the department of corrections, and department of corrections employees who provide direct security and treatment services to offenders under supervision in the community and Woodside facility employees, shall receive an early retirement allowance which shall be equal to the normal retirement allowance reduced by one-half of one percent for each month the member is under age 62 at the time of early retirement. Group F members who have 20 years of service as facility employees of the department of corrections, as department of corrections employees who provide direct security and treatment services to offenders under supervision in the community or as Woodside facility employees or as Vermont state hospital employees who provide direct patient care shall receive an early retirement allowance which shall be equal to the normal retirement allowance at age 55 without reduction; provided the 20 years of service occurred in one or more of the following capacities as an employee of the department of corrections, Woodside facility [or Vermont state hospital]: facility employee, community service center employee or court and reparative service unit employee.

(B) Upon early retirement, a group F member first included in the membership of the system on or after July 1, 2008, except facility employees of the department of corrections and department of corrections employees who provide direct security and treatment services to offenders under supervision in the community and Woodside facility employees, shall receive an early retirement allowance which shall be equal to the normal retirement allowance reduced by:

(i) one-eighth of one percent for each month the member is under age 65, provided the member has accrued 35 years of service at the time of early retirement;

(ii) one-quarter of one percent for each month the member is under age 65, provided the member has accrued 30 years of service but less than 35 years of service at the time of early retirement;

(iii) one-third of one percent for each month the member is under age 65 , provided the member has accrued 25 years of service but less than 30 years of service at the time of early retirement;

(iv) five-twelfths of one percent for each month the member is under age 65, provided the member has accrued 20 years of service but less than 25 years of service at the time of early retirement;

(v) five-ninths of one percent for each month the member is under age 65, provided the member has accrued less than 20 years of service at the time of early retirement .

* * *

Sec. 3.  3 V.S.A. § 470(b) is amended to read:

(b)  For group F members, as of June 30 in each year, commencing January 1, 1991, a determination shall be made of the increase or decrease, to the nearest one-tenth of a percent of the Consumer Price Index for the preceding fiscal year.  The retirement allowance of each beneficiary in receipt of an allowance for at least one year on the next following December 31st shall be increased or decreased, as the case may be, by an amount equal to one-half of the percentage increase or decrease.  Commencing January 1, 2014, the retirement allowance of each beneficiary who was an active contributing member of the group F plan as of June 30 , 2008 and who retires on or after July 1, 2008 shall be increased or decreased, as the case may be, by an equal percentage of the Consumer Price Index for the preceding year.  The increase or decrease shall commence on the January 1st immediately following such December 31st.  The adjustment shall apply to group F members receiving an early retirement allowance only in the year following attainment of age 62, provided the member has received benefits for at least 12 months as of December 31 of the year preceding any January adjustment.  The maximum adjustment of any retirement allowance resulting from any such determination shall be five percent and the minimum shall be one percent, and no retirement allowance shall be reduced below the amount payable to the beneficiary without regard to the provisions of this section.

Sec. 4.  3 V.S.A. § 473(b)(2) is amended to read:

(2)  Contributions shall be made on and after the date of establishment at the rate of five percent of compensation except at a rate of 6.18 percent of compensation for each group C member unless such the member was a group C member on June 30, 1998 in which case contributions shall be at the rate of six percent of compensation for each such group C member who has elected not to have his or her compensation from the state be subject to Social Security withholding or at the rate of five percent of compensation if such the member elected to have compensation from the state subject to Social Security withholding and at the rate of 3.25 five percent of compensation for each group F member and, commencing July 1, 2019, at the rate of 4.75 percent of compensation for each group F member.  In determining the amount earnable by a member in a payroll period, the retirement board may consider the annual or other periodic rate of earnable compensation payable to such member on the first day of the payroll period as continuing throughout such payroll period, and it may omit deduction from compensation for any period less than a full payroll period if an employee was not a member on the first day of the payroll period, and to facilitate the making of deductions it may modify the deduction required of any member by such an amount as, on an annual basis, shall not exceed one-tenth of one percent of the annual earnable compensation upon the basis of which such deduction is to be made.  Each of the amounts shall be deducted until the member retires or otherwise withdraws from service, and when deducted shall be paid into the annuity savings fund, and shall be credited to the individual account of the member from whose compensation the deduction was made.

Sec. 5.  3 V.S.A. § 473(c) is amended to read:

(c) Employer contributions, earnings, and payments.

* * *

(2) Beginning with the actuarial valuation as of June 30, 2006, the contributions to be made to the fund by the state shall be determined on the basis of the actuarial cost method known as "entry age normal." On account of each member there shall be paid annually into the fund by the state an amount equal to a certain percentage percentages of the annual earnable compensation of such member, to be known as the "normal contribution," and an additional amount amounts equal to a certain percentage of the member's annual earnable compensation, to be known as the "basic accrued liability." and “additional accrued liability” contributions. The percentage rate rates of such the contributions shall be fixed on the basis of the liabilities of the retirement system as shown by actuarial valuation.

* * *

(4)(A) Until the unfunded accrued liability, excluding the portion described in subdivision (B) of this subdivision (4), is liquidated, the basic accrued liability contribution shall be the annual payment required to liquidate the unfunded accrued liability over a period of 30 years from July 1, 1988, provided that the amount of each annual basic accrued liability contribution after June 30, 1988 shall be five percent greater than the preceding annual basic accrued liability contribution. Any variation in the contribution of normal, basic, or unfunded accrued liability or additional unfunded accrued liability contributions from those recommended by the actuary and any actuarial gains and losses shall be added or subtracted to the unfunded accrued liability and amortized over the remainder of the 30-year period.

(B) Until the additional unfunded accrued liability created as of July 1, 2008, by the implementation of a group F cost-of-living adjustment equal to the full increase or decrease, to the nearest one-tenth of a percent of the Consumer Price Index for the preceding fiscal year as provided in subsection 470(b) of this title, is liquidated, the additional accrued liability contribution, shall be the annual payment required to liquidate the additional unfunded accrued liability over a period of 30 years from July 1, 2008, provided that the amount of each annual additional accrued liability contribution made after June 30, 2009 shall be five percent greater than the preceding annual additional accrued liability contribution.

* * *

Sec. 6.  3 V.S.A. § 479(a) is amended and (g) is added to read:

(a) As provided under section 631 of this title, a member who is insured by the respective group insurance plans immediately preceding the member's effective date of retirement shall be entitled to continuation of group insurance as follows:

(1)(A) coverage in the group medical benefit plan provided by the state of Vermont for active state employees; or

(B) for a group F plan member first included in the membership of the system on or after July 1, 2008, coverage in the group medical benefit plan offered by the state of Vermont for active state employees and pursuant to the following, provided:

(i) a member who has completed five years and less than 10 years of creditable service at his or her retirement shall pay the full cost of the premium;

(ii) a member who has completed 10 years and less than 15 years of creditable service at his or her retirement shall pay 60 percent of the cost of the premium;

(iii) a member who has completed 15 years and less than 20 years of creditable service at his or her retirement shall pay 40 percent of the cost of the premium;

(iv) a member who has completed 20 years or more of creditable service at his or her retirement shall pay 20 percent of the cost of the premium; and

(2) members who have completed 20 years of creditable service at their effective date of retirement shall be entitled to the continuation of life insurance in the amount of $5,000.00 $10,000.00.

(g)  A member of the group F plan who is first included in the membership of the system on or after July 1, 2008, who separates from service prior to being eligible for retirement benefits under this chapter, who have at least 20 years of creditable service, and who participated in the group medical benefit plan at the time of separation from service shall have a one-time option at the time retirement benefits commence to reinstate the same level of coverage, in the group medical benefit plan provided by the state of Vermont for active state employees, that existed at the date of separation from service.  Premiums for the plan shall be prorated between the retired member and the retirement system pursuant to subsection 479(a) of this title.

Sec. 7.  3 V.S.A. § 631(a)(9) is amended to read:

(9) The amount of life insurance for any retired employee shall be reduced and limited to $5,000.00 $10,000.00 on the date of his or her retirement. The provisions of this section shall apply to all retirees who complete 20 creditable years of service with the state before their retirement and are insured for group life insurance on their retirement dates. The total premiums for group life insurance provided under this section and section 632 of this title shall be paid by the state on behalf of employees retired in accordance with the terms of subdivision (2) of this subsection, on behalf of employees who are on sick leave without pay for a period not to exceed twelve months and on behalf of any employee on disability retirement until proof of total and permanent disability has been accepted by the insurance company.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(No House amendments)

ORDERED TO LIE

S. 70

An act relating to empowering municipalities to regulate the application of pesticides within their borders.

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the bill.

S. 102

An act relating to decreasing the percentage to determine a school district’s excess spending.

PENDING QUESTION:  Second reading of the bill.

S. 118

An act relating to fiscal review of high spending districts and special education.

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the bill.

S. 211

An act relating to soliciting or architect proposals by a school district.

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the bill.

J.R.S. 24

Joint resolution relating to the federal “fast track” process for congressional review of international trade agreements.

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the resolution.

CONFIRMATIONS

The following appointments will be considered by the Senate, as a group, under suspension of the Rules, as moved by the President pro tempore, for confirmation together and without debate, by consent thereby given by the Senate.  However, upon request of any senator, any appointment may be singled out and acted upon separately by the Senate, with consideration given to the report of the Committee to which the appointment was referred, and with full debate; and further, all appointments for the positions of Secretaries of Agencies, Commissioners of Departments, Judges, Magistrates, and members of the Public Service Board shall be fully and separately acted upon.

Kevin Dorn of Essex Junction - Secretary of the Agency of Commerce & Community Development - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (1/17)

Bruce Hyde of Granville - Commissioner of the Department of Tourism & Marketing - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (1/17)

John Hall of St. Johnsbury - Commissioner of the Department of Housing & Community Development - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (1/17)

Michael W. Quinn of Essex Junction - Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (1/17)

Patricia Moulton Powden of South Londonderry - Chair of the Vermont Employment Security Board and Commissioner of the Department of Labor - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (1/17)

Patricia Moulton Powden of South Londonderry - Chair of the Vermont Employment Security Board & Commissioner of the Department of Labor - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (1/17)

Brian Vachon of Middlesex - Member of the State Board of Education - By Sen. Doyle for the Committee on Education.  (1/17)

Gerald J. Myers of Winooski - Commissioner of the Department of Buildings and General Services - By Sen. Scott for the Committee on Institutions.  (1/23)

Thomas Scala of Brattleboro - Member of the Vermont Lottery Commission - By Sen. Condos for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (1/23)

Virginia Barry of Barre - Member of the Vermont Lottery Commission - By Sen. Condos for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (1/23)

David J. Kurzman of Beecher Falls - Member of the Vermont Economic Development Authority - By Sen. Maynard for the Committee on Finance.  (1/23)

Heidi Pelletier of Montpelier – Member of the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees – By Senator Doyle for the Committee on Education. (1/23)

Jessica Bullock of Clarendon – Member of the State Board of Education – By Senator Nitka for the Committee on Education. (1/23)

David Herlihy of Waitsfield - Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources - By Senator Doyle for the Committee on Government Operations.  (2/8)

Fayneese Miller of South Burlington - Member of the State Board of Education - By Senator Collins for the Committee on Education.  (2/13)

Lisa Mitiguy Randall of Colchester - Chair of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency - By Senator Condos for the Committee on Finance.  (2/13)

Nathaniel M. Hayward of South Hero - Member of the Vermont Economic Development Authority - By Senator Condos for the Committee on Finance.  (2/13)

Peter J. Wright of Lake Elmore - Member of the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees - By Senator Starr for the Committee on Education.  (2/13)

David R. Kimel of St. Albans - Member of the Vermont Municipal Bond Bank - By Senator McCormack for the Committee on Finance.  (2/21)

James E. Potvin of Mount Holly - Member of the Vermont Educational & Health Buildings Financing Agency - By Senator Maynard for the Committee on Finance.  (2/20)

John W. Valente of Rutland - Director of the Vermont Municipal Bond Bank - By Senator Carris for the Committee on Finance.  (2/27)

Sandra Predom of Mount Holly - Member of the Vermont Educational & Health Buildings Financing Agency - By Senator Carris for the Committee on Finance.  (2/27)

Edward T. Ogarzalek of Rutland - Member of the Vermont Educational & Health Buildings Financing Agency - By Senator Maynard for the Committee on Finance.  (2/27)

John C. Stewart of Jericho Center - Member of the Community High School of Vermont Board - By Senator Giard for the Committee on Education.  (2/29)

Susan Roush Bruce of St. Albans - Member of the Board of Libraries - By Senator Collins for the Committee on Education.  (2/29)

Gordon Winters of Swanton - Member of the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees - By Senator Collins for the Committee on Education.  (3/13)

Tess Savage of Bristol - Member of the State Board of Education - By Senator Giard for the Committee on Education.  (3/13)

Jeffrey L. Davis of Williston - Member of the University of Vermont Board of Trustees - By Sen. Starr for the Committee on Education.  (3/19)

Francis Heald of Rutland - Member of the Travel Information Council - By Sen. Mazza for the Committee on Transportation.  (3/25)

Susan Davis of Shelburne - Member of the Travel Information Council - By Sen. Collins for the Committee on Transportation.  (3/25)

Elizabeth G. Kennett of Rochester - Member of the Travel Information Council - By Sen. Scott for the Committee on Transportation.  (3/25)

Joseph Sutton of East Middlebury - Member of the Travel Information Council - By Sen. Kitchel for the Committee on Transportation.  (3/25)

Nancy Wood of Charlotte - Member of the Sustainable Jobs Fund Board of Directors - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (3/26)

James Stewart of Pittsford - Member of the Sustainable Jobs Fund Board of Directors - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (3/26)

Lenae Quillen-Blume of Quechee - Member of the Sustainable Jobs Fund Board of Directors - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (3/26)

John Merrill of Stowe - Member of the Sustainable Jobs Fund Board of Directors - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (3/26)

Edward Kiniry of Shelburne - Member of the Sustainable Jobs Fund Board of Directors - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (3/26)

Carolyn Cooke of Colchester - Member of the Sustainable Jobs Fund Board of Directors - By Sen. Illuzzi for Sustainable Jobs Fund Board of Directors - By Sen. Illuzzi for Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (3/26)

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Thursday, March 27, 2008 - Room 11 - 5:00-7:00 p.m. - H. 543 - Funding of the Department of Fish and Wildlife - House Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources.

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
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Montpelier, Vermont


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